Alphabetical Index of First Second

Lucy in the Sky

It’s 2012, and 12-year-old Lucy is coping with seventh grade. Her mother travels the world, and her grandmother is undergoing treatment for cancer. Her friend Vanessa is worried about which boys like her, and her friend Rupa is being pressured by her parents to overachieve and set her future already. Lucy in the Sky, written by Kiara Brinkman and illustrated by Sean Chiki, is a year in the life of an uncertain young woman who loves music. She’s a drummer, […]

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Science Comics: Spiders: Worldwide Web

It’s rare for the Science Comics line to have a misstep. Most of their books are both entertaining and wildly informative, with a ton of facts woven into a story. It’s that combination that makes learning easy. Unfortunately, story is where Science Comics: Spiders: Worldwide Web falls down, as the book by Tait Howard is mostly an overwhelming list of facts. There’s no space to give the reader a chance to understand or remember what they’re being shown. The balance […]

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Maker Comics: Build a Robot!

I was curious to see what kinds of projects we’d find in Maker Comics: Build a Robot!, as the subject is a bit more ambitious and unusual than the other comics in the line. Many people think they could, with a little guidance, plant a garden or bake cookies or draw a comic, but few people think about building their own robot. The projects in this book, though, seem very achievable and, as a bonus, serve as an excellent introduction […]

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Maker Comics: Create a Costume!

Create a Costume! is another outstanding entry in the Maker Comics line. Kids these days want to dress up for conventions and other gatherings, and the emphasis here is very much encouraging do-it-yourself. Guided by the Costume Critter, a hamster in a hat and cape, Bea and Parker learn how to decorate, modify, and repurpose secondhand clothes into outfits that can be used for a magical girl or boy a witch or wizard a space traveller a superhero (including a […]

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Stuck Rubber Baby 25th Anniversary Edition

Howard Cruse’s Stuck Rubber Baby, I have no doubt, has changed lives. It changed mine. It’s the semi-autobiographical story of Toland Polk, a young man hiding from his homosexuality in the southern US in the 1960s, as the civil rights movement becomes more important. Toland is raised by well-meaning racists, but he hangs out with people more on the fringes, dating a politicized folk singer and going to parties with a gay former sailor and a drag queen and people […]

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Tillie Walden Needs an Editor: Spinning and On a Sunbeam

Two Tillie Walden books have been holding down the edge of my to-do stack table for years now. And they work well in that function, as Spinning (2017) is just under 400 pages, and On a Sunbeam (2018) is over 540! These are bricks of books, is what I’m saying. Walden does gorgeous art, spare and thought-provoking and expressive, in a variety of genres. Spinning is an autobiography, the story of her time as a teenage figure skating competitor and […]

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History Comics: The Great Chicago Fire: Rising From the Ashes

History Comics: The Great Chicago Fire: Rising From the Ashes was one of the first releases from this new comics line from publisher First Second, who has had great success with their Science Comics. As written by Kate Hannigan and illustrated by Alex Graudins, this is the story of two siblings (and a puppy, for additional cuteness) who get caught up in the 1871 fire that devastated Chicago and left a third of the city homeless. Trying to do a […]

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Science Comics Catch-Up: Cats, Rocks and Minerals, Skyscrapers, Digestive System

Science Comics: Rocks and Minerals Geology from Caverns to the Cosmos by Andy Hirsch I’ve really enjoyed Hirsch’s previous entries in this series, Trees and Dogs (my favorite of the series), so I was disappointed that this wasn’t nearly as entertaining for me. I wasn’t expecting the book to start with so much information about the Big Bang and meteorites and the makeup of the earth and volcanoes. It’s necessary for the topic, I suppose, but that’s not the book […]

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